VERNON TOWNSHIP — Meadville Area Water Authority has taken another step in the bureaucratic process required to follow through on its June 2017 decision to add fluoride to its water supply.
The authority addressed comments it received from the state Department of Environmental Protection on its fluoride permit application, Gannett Fleming consulting engineer Thomas Thompson told board members at Wednesday’s authority meeting.
“We’re still waiting for the DEP permit to be issued,” Thompson said. Once the permit is issued, he explained after the meeting, the authority can solicit bids for installation of the fluoridation equipment. The bid process and installation will likely take six to eight months, he said.
DEP received MAWA’s permit application Oct. 30, according to Melanie Williams, community relations coordinator at the department.
“It was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on Nov. 18, 2017, which formally began the 30-day public comment period,” Williams said in an email. “The department did not receive any comments from the public during that 30-day period from Nov. 18, 2017, until Dec. 18, 2017.”
DEP decisions on such applications typically take 120 business days or about seven months, according to Williams.
The comments received from DEP concerned a section of the report addressing the impact of introducing fluoride into the system as well as clarifications on some of the construction design drawings.
“They wanted that emphasized a little more in the report,” Thompson said, explaining that the revised response highlighted the impact of fluoride on the system. “It doesn’t have an effect on the water quality and that’s what the information had previously presented.”